Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 26:
The Nandankanan Zoological Park on the outskirts of Odisha capital received five new inmates with five Thamins, popularly known as Manipuri Dancing Deer, and a pair of bison entering the zoo on Monday.
As part of an exchange programme, the Thamins have been relocated from the Delhi Zoo and the bisons have been shifted from Chhatbir Zoo in Chandigarh.
As per zoo authorities, they had a pair of these brow-antlered deer and the five new members of the species (three females and two males) aged between 5 and 7 have increased their number to seven in the zoo.
Zoo officials expect that the addition of new animals would increase their exhibit value thereby increasing the footfall.
The pair of bison recruits, which includes a male and a female in the age group of 8-10 years, is expected to become a major attraction in the animal park as there were none since 1985. Their number was reduced to zero that year after the deaths of the members of the Bovine sub-family.
The pair of bison will be kept at the zebra enclosure as it was lying unoccupied post the death of the lone striped animal in January this year.
Notably, a male and two female four-horned antelopes as well as two pairs of water-monitor lizards were transferred to Delhi zoo in exchange of the five Manipuri Dancing Deers from Nandankanan Zoological Park as part of the exchange deal.
Similarly, 12 animals and birds were sent to Chhatbir Zoo in exchange of the two Gaurs (the Indian Bison) with the Nandankanan zoo. They include four each of water-monitor lizards, four-horned antilopes (chowsingha) and white Ibis (birds).
A team of vets—Dr Sarat Chandra Sahu and Dr Anil Dash– at the Nandankanan Zoological Park conducted health check-up of the freshers before putting them at their respective enclosures.
According to sources, a team of experts from the zoo had left for Delhi and Chandigarh with as many as 20 animals on May 15. The team left under the supervision of Nandankanan Zoological Park Additional Director Kamal Lochan Purohit and comprised Dr Anil Dash, forest guard Sushant Behera, animal keepers Pratap Rout, Trailokya Moharana and Prafulla Das.